Adam Johnson’s team retires his number in return to ice for memorial game

The Nottingham Panthers, the team Adam Johnson was playing for when a skate fatally slashed his neck, returned to the ice Saturday for a memorial game in his honor.

The on-ice incident happened Oct. 28, and Johnson died shortly after at the age of 29.

Before the game, the English team announced it would be retiring Johnson’s No. 47 as players from the Panthers and Manchester Storm stood in a circle at center ice at Motorpoint Arena.

“He will forever be our No. 47,” announcer Stef Litchfield said. “He was not only an outstanding hockey player but also a great teammate. He was an incredible person with his whole life ahead of him. We will miss him dearly.”

Fans laid flowers, wreaths, jerseys, team scarves and handwritten notes to honor Johnson at the arena.

Panthers players wore black jerseys that said “47 Adam Johnson” above their logo, while Storm players wore white jerseys with the No. 47.

In the 47th minute, fans rose from their seats and gave a loud standing ovation.

Police in England arrested a suspect in Johnson’s death on suspicion of manslaughter.

The death of Johnson, who appeared in 13 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2019 and 2020, has reignited the debate about player safety and protective gear, which is not mandated in the NHL. The league the Panthers play in will make it mandatory in 2024.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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